Burkhard Fritz (Waldemar), Emily Magee (Tove), Anna Larsson (Waldtaube), Markus Marquard (Bauer), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Klaus-Narr), Sunnyi Melles (Narrator) Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus of the Dutch National Opera, Marc Albrecht (conductor) & Pierre Audi (director)
Begun in the year 1900, amidst the art nouveau curlicues of Klimt and the Jugendstil, Schönberg’s grand cantata is written in a lush, late-romantic style indebted to Wagner and Mahler and pre-dating his pioneering atonal works. This setting of the mediaeval Danish legend of Gurre Castle – a love triangle between King Waldemar, his mistress Tove and a jealous Queen – gains an innovative new dimension in this first-ever staging of the work, directed by Pierre Audi.
Extra features: includes a documentary of the making of the production and a cast gallery.
Subtitles: English, French, German, Dutch, Japanese and Korean.
Running time: 140 minutes
Sound format: LPCM & DTS Master Audio 5.1
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The whole production presents a formidable challenge to any opera house contemplating an alternative staging. 4 stars.
It makes for fascinating viewing...Audi wisely chooses to keep his narrative loose and suggestive, emphasising the piece’s affinity as much to Wagner’s Tristan as to Parsifal...The detailed, virtuoso playing of the orchestra and Marc Albrecht’s clear-sighted but impassioned conducting need fear no comparison with the best audio-only versions. A very impressive achievement all round.
The performances are compelling and the Netherlands Philharmonic plays superbly under Marc Albrecht, and the chorus fully lives up to its reputation as one of the outstanding operatic choruses of the day. In sum, here is a filmed performance that will merit repeated viewings.
Opera Now February 2017
The whole cast, orchestra and chorus are outstanding. 4 stars.